Tag Archives: RTE

A bit of a walk round Dublin

Just a short walk. Well, let’s say 12 kms but I’ll do the walking. All you have to do is sit there in your comfortable armchair – or your bed even seeing as it’s still Sunday.

There’ll be a few markers of interest so here’s the first one:2024 12 kms walk dublin 150614 001And here’s something you don’t see very often these days:

2024 12 kms walk dublin 150614 002Though I have to say, back in the day my coal was delivered by horse and cart. The coalman would heave the sack onto his shoulder and carry it into the house. Later, the horse was put out to grass ( I hope) when the coalman got a lorry.

Did I mention he had only one arm? Didn’t seem to affect his driving.


We’re on Leeson Street, by the way and coming up to Donnybrook Church. Here’s how green and lovely everything looks at this time of year:

2024 12 kms walk dublin 150614 003We’re cutting a corner or two here and instead of going on up to UCD Belfield site ( where I used to play hockey for UCD’s fifth or was it sixth team?) we’re swinging to the left along Nutley Lane and on to the end and then hanging a left again towards Ballsbridge.

And here’s the next marker, a memorial to all those who lost their lives in the fight for freedom. You’ll notice I’m being careful with the wording. I don’t think Dev meant *all *who died. But then again, maybe he did. Anyway, here it is:


2024 12 kms walk dublin 150614 008

Pressing on now to Ballsbridge, keep an eye out for that tree:2024 12 kms walk dublin 150614 007

Horse shoe pitching was a traditional sport round here. Notice the way the horse shoe is hanging. Beware: if it’s hanging the other way all its good luck will drain away.


Don’t know how many people will be interested in this eagle:


2024 12 kms walk dublin 150614 009

Unless they’re jetting off Dublin to Dubai which is a major hub for flights to all four corners of the globe.

The United Emirates is a federation of seven countries and guess who has off pat the name of all of them? You’re right – Tony Blair.

Feet aching a bit? Want to pop into the kitchen to make a cup of coffee? Hang on. We’re just at the canal. See?

2024 12 kms walk dublin 150614 010The Grand Canal here is twinned with the Grand Union Canal in England but where’s Braunston?  I thought it was in Northants and not in Ireland. Am I right?

Walking along the canal now and into the magical,  mysterious world of the willow tree. Gorgeous.


2024 12 kms walk dublin 150614 018No canal is complete without one of these, of course,2024 12 kms walk dublin 150614 014

or these2024 12 kms walk dublin 150614 015

And here we are back again, more or less. That didn’t take long, did it? It took me two hours, without cutting the corners but who’s counting?

Last pic is someone who’s not up yet but if you’ve no home to go to, there’s probably no point in getting up. He’s chosen an august place to doss: this is the Georgian house that used to be a hotel serving the canal harbour. Then it became a nursing home where Jack Yeats spent some time. Now it’s a school for foreign students.

2024 12 kms walk dublin 150614 020

If you enjoyed this stroll, have a look at my website and my latest book – a travel book about Syria, before the war.


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John Clare – and Lucia Joyce.

 RTE’s  Book on One this week is by John Mckenna  and is about the poet John Clare. A poignant story. Clare died in 1864, a disturbed man much loved by his second wife and his family.

I have sat in the porch of  the church in Northhampton where Clare used to sit. He was confined in the asylum in Northampton but allowed out  sometimes and when that happened he made for the porch to sit and think his thoughts.

He thought often about his first wife, Mary Joyce, which was a cause of sadness to his second and loving wife.

By a strange coincidence,  John Clare is buried in the same cemetery as Lucia Joyce, disturbed daughter of James Joyce. Every year, on Bloomsday,she and her father are remembered by faithful members of the James Connolly Association of Northhampton. John Clare and Lucia Joyce: kindred spirits.
































































































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Cold snap in Dublin 4

  Bit chilly this morning in RTE.Image

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Poems My Mother Taught Me, from RTE’s Sunday Miscellany March 16 2012


This is a link to a Sunday Miscellany RTE Programme which has a short piece by me at 0026.53

Hope the link works and that you like the two poems. Here’s the link.


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